Don's Fly Tying - the Pink Popper

[the Pink Popper]

After a warmer than usual summer, early September found relief with cooler weather in the Interior of British Columbia. Consequently the water in one of our major salmon rivers, the Fraser, cooled enough to allow a salmon opening for sports fishing. The odd years feature peak Pink Salmon runs in southern BC and 2015 did not disappoint! While my September trip to the lower Fraser targeted bar fishing for Spring Salmon (special DFO recommendation), I did spend some fun time casting for Pinks with my spey rod.

A few days before my Fraser River trip, my Kelowna friend, Tony Lillington, was invited by some very long time friends, a father and son team, to fish the Fraser near Chilliwack, BC. Except for sturgeon, Tonys' friends are serious fly fishermen so that was the order of the day. They did not catch any spring salmon but they did hook pink salmon almost on every second cast. What flies, anything pink of course! A fly that I devised for Pinks that gives special action using a pull stop retrieve is the Pink Popper. With respect to Tonys' sore arm from catching so many pink salmon, we will examine how to tie the Popper! Oh yes, I did catch Pinks with my spey outfit but the Fraser River picture shown below is a spring salmon.

[A Fraser River Spring Salmon]



I find the small line hole in a corky will not allow you to thread the corky on even a size 1 hook. I therefore drill the hole large enough to slid the corky around the hook bend to the hook eye. Next, wrap small florescent chenille hook bend to the corky. The final step is to use the new type of radiant pink yarn with silver flash inserts and tie it in both as a short beard hackle below and a wing hackle above. A very simple fly to tie other than the fuss in getting the corky around the hook bend. The key though is how to fish the fly. With a heavy sink tip and relatively short leader on my spey outfit, I give the line a quick pull, then allow it to sink for a few seconds, then pull again. This action pops the fly up and down, thus the fly name!

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